The Man Who Bought Himself

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
Black Ned's master, "Marse John," had died, and the new owner did not need the old slave. "Marse John" had been kind to him and had taught him many things, including the way of salvation. In short, old Ned was a Christian and it was his joy to preach Christ to his fellows.
Over the long years, while devoting himself to the service of his earthly master, old Ned had been able to save the small gifts of money bestowed upon him occasionally by this kind man. But now Marse John was gone, and Ned's one desire was to be free to preach the gospel. To do this he knew that he must have his freedom certified in writing; but could he, a poor slave, accomplish this? As he realized as never before his great lack and inability to do anything of himself, the word of the Lord came to him as it had to Paul the Apostle in Philippians 4: 13: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Humbly confident of the Lord's guiding hand, Ned awaited his turn at the auction. His heart beat high with hope as he mounted the block.
"How much for this well-trained old man?" So shouted the glib auctioneer. "He is strong—honest faithful—a good preacher! How much am I bid? Gentlemen, bid something! Twenty-five dollars is bid. Twenty-five only, for this excellent servant? Thirty is bid; thirty, thirty, thirty-forty; do I hear forty? Forty!—fifty!—sixty—sixty-five, sixty-five?"
The old man's heart beat rapidly; his eyes were flooded with tears. The money he had laid up so laboriously—was it enough to buy himself? Could he possibly go free? The extent of his little hoard was nearly reached and the bids would soon be beyond his poor means. Taking a deep breath and in conscious dependence on the Lord, the old man's voice rang out: "SEVENTY!"
The slave buyers stood aghast. This unheard of proceeding stilled the observers.
"Seventy—seventy—am I bid only seventy? Then seventy it is, and done!"
Old black Ned was free—he who for so long had been a slave—FREE to serve the Lord Christ. He had bought himself with his own hard-earned money. Now with his legal certificate of purchase he was a free man.
Not many years went by before President Lincoln signed the document that abolished slavery throughout the land. But, friend, slavery still abounds. Sin and Satan still hold in bondage myriads who, willingly or not, are bondslave of the powers of darkness. Are you numbered among these miserable creatures, or do you think that in your enjoyment of all that is opposed to godliness and the claims of Christ, you are exercising your free will? Let me tell you, you are either in slavery to Satan, or you rejoice in the liberty that is in Christ Jesus. There is no middle ground. If you have not come to Jesus and accepted His payment for your sins, you can find no other way to "buy" yourself out of Satan's clutches and into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
What is His payment? It is the most precious price of all time and eternity: "the precious blood of Christ," shed when He bore our sins on Calvary. There He paid the full price to redeem (buy back) poor, lost, sinful humanity. Now He waits for each of His creatures to accept His payment—sign the papers, so to speak—and deliver the goods. Will you not receive this precious Redeemer? Why continue to serve Satan when the King of Glory, the Son of God, offers you freedom from eternal doom?
"The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Rom. 6:2323For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23).
"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ." 1 Peter 1:18, 1918Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: (1 Peter 1:18‑19).